Melissa Miller (artist)
Melissa Miller is an American painter who is best known for what Art in America called "raucous allegorical paintings" of animals that balance storytelling, psychological insight and behavioral observation with technical virtuosity and formal rigor. She rose to prominence during a rebirth in figurative painting and narrative content in the early 1980s championed by curators such as Marcia Tucker and Barbara Rose, who both selected Miller for prominent surveys. Rose identified Miller among a group of iconoclastic "rule breakers," describing her work as "a wild kingdom … gone slightly berserk" in the struggle for survival, whose intensity recalled Delacroix. In a later Artforum review, Donald Kuspit called Miller's paintings "apocalyptic allegories" executed with meticulous old-master methods that articulated psychic states, existential problems and ecological concerns. Miller has exhibited at museums throughout the United States, including the Whitney Museum, New Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Hirshhorn Museum. Her work belongs to the public art collections of the Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Albright-Knox Gallery and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others, and she has received the Anonymous Was A Woman Award and Texas Artist of the Year Award. Miller lives and works in Austin, Texas.